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The joy of strawberry season

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The joy I feel about strawberry season has me giddy. I'm like a drunk who shinks she's hilaroush. I keep trying to tuck silly sayings into this intro: "shortages of shortcake," "paltriness of pie" ...

Perhaps I should just go get myself some local strawberries, and tell you how to do the same: Check roadside signs, the closest farmers' market, or the state's official site, www.ncfarmfresh.com. There is likely a u-pick or they-pick farm nearby. I'll be heading to Jean's Berry Patch (3003 N.C. Hwy. 751, Apex, 362-5800, www.jeansberrypatch.com), one of the larger farms in the Triangle. As with all u-pick farms, though, we should call before we go.

Speaking of farms, we've written a lot here recently about area farmers' markets, because they're springing up like ... why, like juicy red strawberries. (OK, enough.) This week marks the opening of a midweek farm: the Moore Square Farmers' Market in downtown Raleigh (www.godowntownraleigh.com/farmersmarket/index.htm) from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. every Wednesday. On May 7, the Durham Farmers' Market (www.durhamfarmersmarket.com) begins its midweek market, 3:30 to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday. To keep track of all these markets and hours, check out our list of Triangle farmers' markets.

In another rite of spring, Xios Authentic Greek Cuisine, (800 W. Williams St., Apex, 363-5288, www.xioscafe.com) will host its annual Greek Easter celebration at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 27. (Greek Easter is based on the modified Julian calendar; most Western Christians use the Gregorian calendar.) Festivities include a clown for the kids, Greek folk music, lamb roasted over an open spit, and tsoureki, the traditional Greek sweet bread with a red-colored egg in the middle. Legend has it that the person who eats the bread but keeps the egg intact will have good luck for the year. Admission is free, and food items are priced individually. Customers can also order from Xios' regular menu.

Congratulations to our area breweries, which did us proud recently at the Carolinas Championship of Beer at the Hickory Hops Beer Festival. Carolina Brewery (www.carolinabrewery.com) racked up six awards: golds for its Alter Ego Altbier and Flagship IPA, silver for its Sky Blue Golden Ale, and bronzes for its Copperline Amber Ale and To Hell 'n' Bock. The Alter Ego Altbier also earned Second Place—Best in Show.

Chapel Hill's Top of the Hill (www.topofthehillrestaurant.com) won four medals: gold in the "Belgian White" category for its Old Well White; silvers in the "Traditional Strong Scotch Ale" category for its Singleton and in the "Munchner Helles" category for its Leaderboard Lager; and bronze in the English IPA category for its Ram's Head IPA.

Raleigh's Big Boss Brewery (www.bigbossbrewing.com) earned gold in the "Other Belgian/French Style Ale" for its Hell's Belle Belgian Blond Ale. The festival featured 120 entries in 85 beer styles, from more than 30 breweries in the Southeast.

Know about a fun food happening in the Triangle? Send it to Now Serving at food@indyweek.com.

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